A pilot program for hiring persons on the autism spectrum into federal jobs is showing success and plans are underway to expand it, according to a posting on performance.gov.
The Neurodiverse Federal Workforce project, one of the Trump administration’s Government Efficiencies Advanced Research (GEAR) award winners, began in January with a six-month internship at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
“The NFW pilot functions as a single solution to address two issues: disproportionate unemployment in the autism community and a high demand for qualified federal tech talent. At the end of the six-month pilot, the interns will be set up for a career in the federal workforce and the agencies will have improved access to a highly qualified talent pool for critical positions,” a posting says.
The interns “are making important contributions in geospatial and imagery analysis,” it says, calling it “an encouraging sign that federal agencies can dramatically increase neurodiversity with the simple intention to do so, and minor adjustments to the hiring process.”
Another program with a second agency is expected to begin in the coming months, it says, and meanwhile a guide specific to the federal government is being written similar to the Autism@Work guide. It will “provide examples of successful neurodiversity programs and provide helpful guidance, including how to create pathways for navigating federal hiring authorities and clearances. This will allow the pilot program to be replicated and expanded by other agencies, enabling significant impact for job candidates on the spectrum, the federal government, and the nation.”